To my dear, dusty darling and silent consort,
You deserve so much more than this little e-tribute, but, alas, here we are. And it’s past bedtime, so you’re getting my B-game.
You’re always there for me, at least between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. (on weekdays only) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (on weekends). You are my escape from the mundanities of everyday life, and I race to you as quickly as my minivan and small children (who inevitably will need a diaper change or potty time as soon as I pick up said van’s keys) allow.
What you lack in lattes, free childcare, and never-ending showings of Gilmore Girls, you make up for in “educational” toddler screen time, thus allowing Mama to soak in some much-needed Facebook scrolling.
While some may think of you as germ-ridden and disease-spreading, especially in the board book area, I think of you as beloved and compassionate. When I see taped-up tears on the pages of children’s books, I am reminded that other people’s children also treat public property contemptibly. Other parents are doing their best to keep you decent, dear offspring of the Library of Alexandria, so I can rest easy when my 9-month-old decides to (literally) consume the pages rather than using one of the 27 teething toys scattered at her feet.
Also, the way your DVDs skip and freeze tell me how other parents are letting Winnie the Pooh or Curious George invest in their children, while they, perhaps, rest their eyes gently while recumbent on the couch.
And now to your companions, the librarians. Thank you, dear, sweet, semi-acquaintances, for never judging as I stumble through the door carrying too many books and a small human, while bereft of eyeliner, yet encased in yoga pants and flip flops. You graciously gesture to the return slot and lighten my burden.
Dearest Keepers of the Books, you turn a blind eye as my child screams the scream of a thousand ignited bats, yet never fail to hear my plea for assistance carrying books to my car — enough books for three kindergarten classes. You converse about book recommendations and the adorable grin of my tiny tot as I desperately search my overflowing diaper bag for my library card, and I love you all the more for it. Then you laugh politely when I realize I had my card in my hand all along. Oh, the memories we’ve made, sweet bibliognosts!
Library, you save us from the poor house and fill our shelves with potentially contagious literature. You are a constant place of respite for weary stay-at-home mothers and their progenies, and I am grateful for your umbrella of protection, as well as your free wireless access.
Dearest, I’ll see you soon. Or possibly not. It totally depends on playdates, federal holidays, family visits, your business hours, how much gas is in my car, if my kids have napped well, if we need groceries, if I should be cooking dinner, how badly I want those books on hold, or if I feel too guilty about overdue library books.
With love and devotion,